Three Ways to Manage Jealous "Friends"

Three tips for managing your sticky situation with jealous "friends"

Posted May 07, 2018

 Kristin A. Meekhof
Source: Source: Kristin A. Meekhof

Your own personal or professional success is cause for celebration. However, while you are relishing the light, it can also be bittersweet. You know all the things you sacrificed to complete your goals. And it can also be a time for reflection when you realize the people you thought would offer deep support are gone.

Suddenly your tribe is no where to be found. Unfortunately, you may have to consider the presence of jealousy. Professional and personal jealousy can carve a void that is so deep and wide that you are left stunned. It is the kind of feeling you never let yourself consider, and now it happened. You think it is a blip that will surely pass, but it becomes morbid. 

Personally, I noticed when Dr. Deepak Chopra, Maria Shriver, Katie Couric and others offered support for work, including my book, "A Widow's Guide to Healing", some "friends" began to throw slight jabs my way. At first, I dismissed their comments as them having a bad day or perhaps I thought I was "reading too much into" their words. Yet, over time, I came to know deep down, these individuals were actually jealous of my relationships and access to new social circles. And it hurt, and in some cases it left a mark because I worked hundreds of unpaid hours at creating a name for myself within the publishing community and establishing these professional relationships were somewhat of a miracle.  Nothing was simply handed to me. It also left me jittery because I thought these 'friends' were there to support me through both the success and stress.  So, these three tips I'm offering for you to cope with jealous individuals comes from a place of depth. These aren't some simple superficial platitudes I'm suggesting you consider. 

Three ways to cope with jealous "friends": 

1. Develop clarity.  Create clarity around what you are committed to in your personal or professional life. When you commit to a new way of being, rather the goals are outward, such as starting a new business, or inward, such as healing from grief, you will need to be clear what the commitment involves and chances are this means trade- offs involved. The trade- off might be less time with your friends or spending less on a vacation. If you are truly committed to these new goals, then you can explain what your focus is and why you are committed to this goal. Also, you know that your trade- off may be less time with certain people. In the end,  your authentic friends you will find a way to support you because they know your goal commitment involves your well- being. And you will carve out time to speak with these people.

2. Understand shift happens.  While your success may expand your bandwidth in certain areas, we are still given the constriction of twenty- four hours in a day. Chances are with your new goals, you are now dividing your time and energy among new tasks, and this means your priorities shift. You know that you can't create new opportunities by maintaining the status quo, so a shift is necessary. And new projects are often cultivated when new relationships are formed, and this takes time. Again, you are shifting the focus of your waking hours, and this can be meant with vacant stares from your friends. Understanding this shift can be painful. However, knowing that not all friends will delight in this as you imagined will help you when you detect a tinge of their jealousy. Early detection can prevent further damage. 

3. Affirm your alignment. Along your journey, it will be important that you consciously solidify your alignment to your goals because their will be things that will threaten your commitment. This doesn't mean that you aren't flexible with your thinking, but rejection can get ugly. When you living out your true purpose, it can seem like a test. Doors will close and doors will open. Very early on before, "A Widow's Guide to Healing" was sold to a publisher, a very successful business man told me to keep my "inner circle" of trusted ones very close, small and to be choosy about who I selected to be a part of this "circle". This piece of advice I didn't follow straightaway as I didn't think it applied to me, only to people who were considered the elite. In retrospect, I wish I adopted this approach earlier. My "inner circle" helps me to put things in perspective when I become overwhelmed. 

 Losses will happen and it will hurt. Somehow in a roundabout way your authentic friends who can help you live to your fullest potential will be there to support you through your silence, fear and success.

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